[Fox News] San Francisco issues apology to Black citizens for ‘decades of systemic and structural discrimination’

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The city of San Francisco in California has issued a formal apology to Black citizens, begging pardon for committing what the government calls “decades of systemic and structural discrimination.”

City supervisors issued a formal apology Tuesday in the form of a resolution after a unanimous vote from all 11 board members.

“This historic resolution apologizes on behalf of San Francisco to the African American community and their descendants for decades of systemic and structural discrimination, targeted acts of violence, atrocities, as well as committing to the rectification and redress of past policies and misdeeds,” said supervisor Shamann Walton, the only Black member of the board. 

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“We have much more work to do, but this apology most certainly is an important step,” he added.

The resolution cites as inspiration nine states that have previously issued similar apologies for slavery. It also parallels Boston, another U.S. city that has formally begged pardon for past racist behavior by its government and police force.

While slavery was never legal in San Francisco, reparations activists say the city imposed decades of racist policies that economically harmed Black residents.

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The formal apology is the first of over 100 proposals put forward by the city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee to come to fruition. It is also the least expensive.

San Francisco’s proposed reparation payments to eligible Black residents were once estimated to cost over $100 billion, as was previously reported. Now, Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, has cut the Office of Reparations to deal with an expected deficit in 2024. However, the high cost was viewed as “unrealistic” for a city already struggling with its budget and a lack of agreement over the issue.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors had previously considered doling out $5 million each to qualifying Black residents for reparations as a way to make amends for slavery.

A majority of Californians do not support reparations, according to a September poll. Almost 60% of California voters opposed cash payments, while 29% of voters supported the idea, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll that was cosponsored by the Los Angeles Times.

“There wasn’t a math formula. It was a journey for the committee towards what could represent a significant enough investment in families to put them on this path to economic well-being, growth and vitality that chattel slavery and all the policies that flowed from it destroyed,” he said.

African American Reparations Advisory Committee Chair Eric McDonnell admitted figuring out how to afford the payments was not the committee’s goal. “Our mission was not a feasibility study,” he said. “It was, assess the harm, assign the value.”

Fox News Digital’s Kristine Parks and Hannah Grossman contributed to this report.

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